Welcome to day four of our side-by-side recount of my trip to the Grand Canyon at age 13 and my daughters’ trip this week. My diary entries from 1984 are turning out to be more fun than I expected.
Day 4 (June 4, 1984): Today we traveled into the pan-handle of Oklahoma to Black Mesa State Park. On the way we saw some signs on the side of the road that said: “I raise cows. They eat hay. Don’t throw trash on the right of way.” Apparently my 13 year old self thought this was hilarious. I even drew little sketches of each sign with the words printed on each one.
Today I saw a Scissor-tailed flycatcher. It is a bird with a very long tail. I’m sure my father identified it for me. I had never seen one before as they are not native to Indiana. My father was an Ecologist and I always just took for granted that he knew all the species of birds and animals. He tried to teach me how to scientifically identify birds by their feet, beaks, and other markings since each type of bird doesn’t look exactly alike (just like people) but I just wanted a book with all the pictures and names. I regret now that I didn’t try harder to learn the correct way to identify them especially when my girls say, “Mom, what’s that bird?”
Anyway, back to the diary. We also saw a historical marker about Jesse Chisholm. He helped open up the west for other people. We also saw where he was buried. We saw where the Santa Fe Trail had been and read a historical marker about Fort Nichols which was built on the Santa Fe Trail to protect the settlers on their way west. We also saw a lot of very pretty flowers. (I wonder what they were?) That night, I saw a shooting star, a satellite (I think), two constellations (the Big Dipper and Taurus the Bull), and Mars (I think). Apparently, Black Mesa State Park boasts some of the darkest nighttime skies in the country. The dark skies make star gazing ideal.
Day 4 (June 5, 2017): Nana, PopPop, and the girls got up, had pancakes for breakfast (Yes! There will be pancakes!),
and left Albuquerque for Peach Springs. Along the way Peyton sent me this lovely picture of a mesa. How fitting with my diary entry for the day in 1984. Here’s the conversation we had:
M: Is that a mesa?
PJ: Yes it is
PJ: They are very pretty
Their program registration began at 4:30pm, followed by dinner and orientation. They had time to make new friends and send me a few photos.